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  1. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    #11
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    I'm almost hesitating to rec this because it's such a lot of mental and emotional work to read, but...Auschwitz and After by Charlotte Delbo is one of the greatest books I've ever read. It's DEVASTATING (I swear to God, parts of it are like reading a scream; there's real, visceral force there), but it's extraordinary.

    Delbo was a member of the French Resistance, captured in March 1942 and shipped to Auschwitz in January 1943; hers was the only convoy for the entire war made up entirely of partisan women. Auschwitz and After...sort of straddles the line between fiction and non-fiction, as it's all semi-narrative poetry she wrote afterwards in an effort to process her time there.

    "I am not certain that what I wrote is true. I know that it is truthful."
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    #12
    I'm reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini right now and it's so sad, but sooo good. I definitely recommend it!
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    #13
    Short list because I'm still half-pretending to be working..

    Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King (actually anything by King, but that's my favorite). Because it's deliciously long and intricated and combines a realistic 1960s-1970s experience with Stephen King's spooky supernatural world.
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Because it is entirely believable and an excellent look into everyday experiences in a city occupied during WWII, as well as what life was like for the kids growing up in Nazi Germany.
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Because Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing person, period. It has religious overtones, but just because that is the lens through which Corrie saw the world.
    The Apartment by S. L. Grey. Because it's a nice, creepy read for a dark night alone.
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. Because even though it's sci-fi, it successfully and fully realizes an alternate way of life in a setting that's a reflection of Cold War Earth.

    Anything by....
    Patricia Cornwell
    Lee Child
    Anne Rice (especially the Mayfair Witches books)
    Mercedes Lackey
    Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Goldman, Kroptkin...
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    I'm almost hesitating to rec this because it's such a lot of mental and emotional work to read
    EVERYONE needs to read and subject themselves to that. We have a responsibility to prevent anything similar from ever occurring again. If that means making ourselves uncomfortable over a book, then so be it. Good recommendation!
  5. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by anarchamom View Post
    EVERYONE needs to read and subject themselves to that. We have a responsibility to prevent anything similar from ever occurring again. If that means making ourselves uncomfortable over a book, then so be it. Good recommendation!
    Agreed, but...I put the warning in as a courtesy. It's exceptional, but it's also a really, really dark place for your soul to go, and as often as I rec this it's still not a book I ever suggest picking up without some awareness of what you're in for. If you're having a bad time already and feeling a little fragile, maybe read something else for the time being and leave this for another day when you have more reserves!

    On another note, I'm going to second the rec of The Dispossessed. The Left Hand of Darkness is another good one by Le Guin in a similar vein.

    I'll second Khaled Hosseini too. All three of his books are good.

    You like mysteries, so you may enjoy Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. It IS part of a series, but its the first one and it stands on its own well enough that you don't need the next to find out what happens. It's basically self-contained with any possible sequel as a bonus. The basic premise is that someone is killing children in Stalin's Russia...but how does anyone find and stop a serial killer when their society doesn't accept the reality of the crime?
  6. d12
    The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
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    #16
    I'm late to the party, but Looking For Alaska is amazing, and I really enjoyed The Game of Thrones series.

    I'm an English teacher so my picks are usually the stuffy, everyone-hates-to-read books lol but I would highly recommend Looking For Alaska. It does have a teen-vibe to it, but the issues are so adult and I was incredibly invested in it as a whole. It's one of those books you pick up and don't put down until you are done.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by anarchamom View Post
    Short list because I'm still half-pretending to be working..

    Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King (actually anything by King, but that's my favorite). Because it's deliciously long and intricated and combines a realistic 1960s-1970s experience with Stephen King's spooky supernatural world.
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Because it is entirely believable and an excellent look into everyday experiences in a city occupied during WWII, as well as what life was like for the kids growing up in Nazi Germany.
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Because Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing person, period. It has religious overtones, but just because that is the lens through which Corrie saw the world.
    The Apartment by S. L. Grey. Because it's a nice, creepy read for a dark night alone.
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. Because even though it's sci-fi, it successfully and fully realizes an alternate way of life in a setting that's a reflection of Cold War Earth.

    Anything by....
    Patricia Cornwell
    Lee Child
    Anne Rice (especially the Mayfair Witches books)
    Mercedes Lackey
    Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Goldman, Kroptkin...
    I love stephen king. I didn't care for Rose Madder, simply because I can read nonfiction works of things that could actually physically happen, and I can read science fiction, but I hate when that line is jumped randomly. Today we have to work out our problems like normal people, but in chapter five we will jump into a painting. Wtf man.
    I loved Needful Things and From a Buick 8. The Dead Zone was good too.
    I like his books as well because once you get into them they aren't over right away, with my life currently, I can't blow through his books in a day.

    I just finished reading A Woman's Place, it's really good, it mixes my cheesy love novel with history and women's rights. It's set in WW2 and the women of the story all meet working at a shipyard.

    I absolutely love The Catcher in the Rye. Say what you will. I like JD Salinger's style of writing and have read I think everything he has published.

    I used to enjoy Nicholas Sparks, but it seems like if you read one of his books, you have read them all.
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    #18
    I would definitely recommend requesting books on your local library website. They reserve them on a shelf for a period of time, and then you can have them up to 21 days (that's how it is for me).

    A book that I recently read and enjoyed is Miss Harper Can Do It. It's about a young woman finding things to do while her boyfriend is deployed. It has some good sarcastic humor, to be honest I'm not sure if I liked the ending, but it is otherwise cute and a good mind distraction.
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